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Neil Williams Retrospective

with a note from Deborah Williams


Posted December 29, 2003


Neil Williams passed away on December 24, 2003. Croquet players around the world will miss him for many reasons. One of his most prominent contributions to croquet in recent years was his "Talking Croquet" series in England's Croquet Gazette. He chose legendary figures as his subjects, and those who did legendary feats. He asked all the right questions - the ones that elicited the most interesting and entertaining answers. In tribute to Neil's contribution to the sport, we offer five fine examples of his work published in Croquet World Online.

Neil Williams interviews John Solomon
This legendary player and coach, ambassador, promoter and policy maker is eyewitness to 50 years of croquet history.

Neil Williams interviews Nigel Aspinall
The player who inherited in the seventies Solomon's mantle as the best player in the sport recalls his 20 years at the top and surveys croquet's future.

Talking croquet with David Openshaw
Neil Williams interviews the winningest playing captain in all of British sport, who became president of the World Croquet Federation in the fall of 2003.

Talking croquet with Robert Fulford
Neil Williams plumbs the life and views of the five-time world champion who rules the international rankings and typically anchors the strongest team in the croquet world.

Gail Curry & The Sextuple Experience
Only one woman has performed a sextuple peel in competition - in early August of 2001. Here's Gail Curry's story in her own words followed by questions and answers in a Neil Williams interview.

A NOTE FROM DEBORAH WILLIAMS
Widow of Neil Williams

It is so sad for me to have to tell you that my husband, Neil Williams, died on the morning of 24th December in the Critical Care Unit at Royal Preston Hospital. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and operated on in 2002. Then followed a sequence of other problems - a stroke, a very severe allergy to the drugs, Crohn's disease, epileptic fits. It took 9 months to get him out of hospital and back home. The tumour quickly reasserted itself, despite surgery and radiotherapy. Neil had repeat neuro-surgery on December 4th of this year. Then followed a truly devastating series of complications. In the few months of relative good health he enjoyed between the two major hospitalisations, he did walk again and talk again and even take his mallet to a croquet lawn. He never lost his love of all things Croquet: she was my only rival! He was quietly proud of the Croquet Association Diploma he received at home and he was still just well enough to see his picture and the write-up in the Gazette. Neil knew a lot of people in the croquet world, personally unknown to me. He had connections with clubs in Cheltenham and Southport as well as in the North West. I'd be very grateful if you could pass on to any friends and colleagues you think may wish to know the news that Neil has hung up his mallet.

Yours sincerely,

Deborah Williams


 
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